Thursday, April 22, 2021

Aviation sector faces Covid headwind as more nations enforce travel curbs

Thiruvananthapuram: The aviation sector is expected to face strong headwind in the coming weeks after “double mutant” Indian variant of the coronavirus has been detected in at least 10 other countries, including the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. 

A senior Air India officer said the reports of ‘Indian mutant’ has forced the UAE to declare that passengers travelling from India to Dubai will have to produce Covid-negative reports taken within 48 hours of departure from Thursday, while it was 72 hours earlier. This is expected to hit Kerala badly as Kerala to Dubai is the busiest route in south India, although routes like Delhi-Dubai and Mumbai-Dubai are also among the world’s busiest international routes. 

The RT-PCR report must also have a QR code linked to the original report for verification by the airline and authorities in UAE. Further, reports of Indian mutants found in foreign countries have forced the United Kingdom to add India to its red list of countries on Monday, following which passengers from here are not allowed to enter the UK from Friday.

While 10-day quarantine has been made mandatory for British or Irish nationals coming from red-listed countries there, the entry is banned for foreign nationals who visited the red listed countries. New Zealand has also barred entry of passengers from India, including Kiwis, during April 11-28 period, while Hong Kong has barred passenger aircraft from India for 14 days from Tuesday after concern over Indian mutant. Oman has also directed its citizens not to travel to India unless absolutely necessary.

“The flying hours of airlines from here have dropped considerably. The passenger load factor of many airlines operating between West Asia and Indian states including Kerala dropped around 25-30 per cent. Since most of the airlines have sold a good number of tickets in advance anticipating a good passenger movement in the summer schedule, the airlines are not in a position to cancel the schedule as they will have to refund the ticket. Otherwise, a good number of aircraft would have been grounded by this time,” said an Air India Express officer.

21/04/21 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment